Options available to convert spreadsheets
There are 3 options available to do this:
Option 1: Recoding the system into another language
This requires a full system build to replicate the underlying logic in the spreadsheet. This will require the developer to work alongside the model builder to explain the spreadsheet logic and check the results.
+ Internal developer team can do it without requiring external systems
– Cost is prohibitive (developer and pricing expertise required)
– large volumes of models to convert which takes too much time
– modelling errors are common
– resources are unavailable
– systems are hard and expensive to update when models change
Option 2: Use an existing commercial pricing platform to recode the spreadsheet
There are a number of software platforms that provide standard tools to help developers create pricing systems. These often have their own internal language and structures to reduce the time taken for the build, with experts on these systems needed to create and maintain the pricing system.
+ commercial pricing platforms have tools that reduce the time required to recode the spreadsheet
+ these tools have methods of checking for errors
– Recoding spreadsheets remains difficult in these systems
– The cost of the platform can be high
– identifying developers who know the pricing system can be trickier than finding standard developers
Option 3: Use an Excel converter
An Excel converter is new technology that allows the user to upload an Excel model and instantly convert it into a hosted system. This reduces the cost of the build and removes the need for developer involvement except for the integration to the core system.
+ there is a significant reduction in the conversion time required per model (minutes rather than months per model)
+ updates to the models can be done in Excel and automatically update in the system
+ testing and debugging can be done against the spreadsheet while the Excel developer continues to maintain their own models
– Integrating with other systems can be cumbersome as some Excel converters don’t work with all Excel models
– There may be a system requirement to design screens for data inputs if not provided by the tool